Precise atomic clock gets a performance upgrade

19-06-2019 | Microchip Technology | Test & Measurement

Microchip via Microsemi has released the MHM-2020 hydrogen maser atomic clock that advances typical long-term stability performance by nearly ten times over the past generation MHM-2010. Building on the MHM-2010’s long service life and cost of ownership legacy, the new device provides an improved user experience with a colour touch panel display and secure network management port.


Hydrogen masers achieve stability by working on the principle that hydrogen atoms, in the proper environment, emit microwaves at a precise 1420405751Hz frequency. Phase-locking this notably small-power and high-purity signal to a very high-performance quartz oscillator produces a clock output signal with the required long-term stability and phase noise to allow precise timekeeping. Active hydrogen masers are the most advanced commercial atomic clocks available produced by the company, quadrupling the stability of passive hydrogen masers while giving superior short-term stability compared to caesium beam tube atomic clocks.


The maser’s short-term clock stability performance between 1-100 seconds range satisfies the stringent demands of VLBI for radio astronomy research including studying black holes and other applications that need a low noise, precise frequency and timing reference.


The maser and upgrade package for users of applicable legacy MHM-2010 masers are both offered. The maser can be specified with an optional low phase noise packaging option. The company supports the maser with clock maintenance, on-site repair and consulting services, as well as an extended warranty.

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